One has to indeed appreciate the guts of the Pakistani so-called all rounder Shahid Afridi for first changing the conditions of the ball without the consent of the on field umpires and then that too in front of the whole crowd, some in front of the television sets and others in the stadium. I wonder as to how come someone can do the same and expect to get away as though he was nothing but innocent? Or, was the deed what Afridi did was a mistake like it was the case with Dravid way back in the Border-Gavaskar trophy 2003-04 in the Adelaide test?
On the other hand, Afridi's creative reason for the same must also be gioven a pat on the back. Shahid Afridi wants the whole world to believe that he was trying to smell the ball-I wonder as though it was a perfume and that only Afridi had discovered it! Oh! What a scientist we have lost due to cricket! But, how come teeth marks appear on the ball when someone tries to smell the same? Really confusing! How come anyone can deny a thing that he has done in front of the entire world? Finally, Afridi had no other choice and had to plead guilty and accept whatever came through.
When Afridi accepts his mistake, he justifies the same by saying that he was trying to help out his bowlers win the fifth one dayer at Perth. May be, had Afridi been in place of Mohammed Yousuf, the deed would have taken place 5 matches earlier or some 8 days prior to this. If the ball tempering episode an be recalled, India's disciplined batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid were fined 50% and 75% of their match fees during the pool match against Zimbabwe in the VB series 2004 and at Port Elizabeth respectively. One can also recall the famous Oval test where Inzamam's team never turned up to take to the field, which is still a mystery.
If the punishment that Shahid Afridi has been given is considered, the ICC is just giving someone a formal punishment. This is not some offence that has happened so far as given in the law books of cricket though the article 2.2.9 of the ICC code of conduct has been cited relating Afridi's offence. When banning players, the ICC gives options like one test or 5 ODIs. But, that should not be the case in T20 cricket whatsoever. Afridi denies what he had done in front of the entire world as mentioned above, which can never be tolerated. Something atleast like the one given to Warne in the 2003 WC (where Shane Warne was given a year ban) can be justified. A ban of one or two matches can affect a player in no way. A life time ban would be ideal.